Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ptarmigan Ridge

As you can see here, at the beginning of our hike, it doesn't look much like the last two sunny excursions: it was raining, 40 degrees F, windy, and beginning to hail as the thirteen Senior Trailblazers started out, wondering if this was really a good idea. We decided to walk at least to the trail junction and then decide whether to continue on. (Click any picture to enlarge.)
Once we got there, the clouds began to lift, although we were pretty cold and uncomfortable, slogging through the puddles and trying to get warm. We decided to walk another mile, to the beginning of the ridge. It was pretty obvious that there would be no super wonderful view, as I had been promised (if the weather were fine, that is). During the last few hikes to Ptarmigan Ridge, mountain goats were seen playing in the meadow. Today, however, I suspect they were finding some nice warm spot huddled amongst the trees.
This was the best view I got all day, and it's not bad. I love the clouds and the way they came and went. By the time I took this picture it was warm, mostly because we had been hiking for a little ways, and so we decided to carry on for one more mile. Here's our lunch spot, which looks at lot warmer and cozy than it felt. Notice the fall colors on the hillside behind.
Fred, our intrepid sparkly person, has now had his headband sewn onto his hat (probably by his wife), and he's added a pair of rather day-glo yellow gloves to complete his costume. Two of our hikers are coming up behind him in the fog. Pea soup fog was what we saw for most of the day.
As we began the hike back, making it six miles in all, mostly in the rain, we were greeted by the only other hikers we saw all day: a group of two, a family of three, and a lone backpacker headed into the wilderness. Other than that, we had Ptarmigan Ridge all to ourselves today. I'm glad we got to hike, considering that the next few days are projected to be just as wet, or even wetter. I am, after all, in the Pacific Northwest, and it's been really dry. The good part is that my new boots are completely waterproof: the driest part of my equipment were my feet.


  1. Amazing vistas even in the rain. Quite an adventure.

  2. DJ, I enlarged the third photo, I was astounded by the view of the mountain covered with clouds. Did you walk along those trails?
    Good for you that you've found a warm place to stop by, it seems like you all looked tired but very very happy! I know the feeling. My stomach was empty but my eyes were filled with joy. By the way, how do you pronounce Ptarmigan?


  3. Even with the clouds it is an awesome view. I am sure you were tired when you finished, but it is a good kind of tired. I envy your hiking adventures. Great photos.

  4. I was so tired for some reason that after I posted this and finished dinner, I went to bed with my book and fell asleep pretty early. AL, the "p" in ptarmigan is silent, so it just sounds like "tarmigan." This morning, though, I feel pretty good, sitting here with my hot tea and laptop in bed...

  5. It does look a little soggy and cold but the photos are still beautiful. I love to see the clouds that close up to the mountains.

  6. You have to be very, very careful how you dress for these walks, don't you Djan. It can range from hot to cold all in one walk and you can so easily be caught out, can't you. Lovely pictures of clouds again.
    Blessings, Star

  7. Super pictures of the ridge with the clouds!
    But wow, I think the cold while hiking would make it miserable.


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